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Rentokil - Protecting Your Home from Termite Problems

Termite describes a species of wood-boring insects that attack wood.

The threat from termites is extremely serious in this part of the world and most severe when they attack wood in buildings.  The termite eats away at any wood - be it ceilings, walls and floors - and, over time, the termite damage weakens the timber and can eventually lead to the collapse of the building.

Termites are social insects and are most closely related to the cockroaches with whom they share a close common ancestor. They are among the most important groups of animals on land because they play a vital role in breaking down dead plant material. They have symbiotic flagellates or bacteria in their hindguts that are able to break down plant cellulose to a digestible form and in the subfamily, Macrotermitinae, the termite’s culture and eat fungi in their nests using dead plant material.

Termites 1

Ants (order: Hymenoptera, family: Formicidae) are often confused with termites because they are also social, and Termites are sometimes called ‘white ants’ (a confusing term). Ants, like wasps (from which they evolved), have a constriction half way down their body whereas in termites the body is uniformly broad.

The prominent mounds you see in the trees, or sometimes on a telephone or electricity pole, are made by termites.

Whereas ant workers are all females, in termites, workers can be both male and female. In ants, mating occurs before the nest is founded and the male dies after mating – he does not become a king and live and mate with the queen in the new colony, as in termites.

Treating Termites

For the purposes of treatment, Termites can be divided into two groups i.e. Subterranean Termites and Drywood Termites. The Subterranean Termites replace any wood taken with soil from the excavation of their nest, thus they have to constantly return to their nest. In the case of Drywood Termites, the entire life cycle takes place within the timber and no soil is used.

Termites in the home should be treated by professional technicians as failing to deal with the problem could lead to structural damage.

Many Termite infestations go undetected for years by which time the damage can be widespread and severe. It is important to act swiftly if you are concerned that you may have a problem with Termites.

The images in this section show a termite nest in a Jamaican mangrove swamp and damage to a wooden beam from termites.

Termite Nest

Indications of a possible Termite infestation may be the scratching sound heard coming from within a door frame for example. This sound is usually only heard late at night when the house is very quiet, and is the sound of the workers foraging for food. Workers of Subterranean species are able to chew timber right to the limits and leave only a thin veneer or coat of paint. On rare occasions workers will make a mistake and chew through the veneer or paint. In this case, they will plug the hole with mud brought up from the nest. Drywood Termites on the other hand will dispose of their faeces and bits of undigested timber, (these resemble poppy seeds), by ejecting them through ‘kick holes’, thus indicating their presence.

Termite Survey

Before any treatment is undertaken, a Rentokil Surveyor will determine the type and extent of the infestation i.e. Subterranean or Drywood

Termite treatment by Rentokil

Termite treatment is carried out by applying chemical barriers around all foundation walls and close against any part of the building in contact with the soil. This necessitates drilling through concrete sub-slabs and injecting a high quality registered termiticide .A thorough examination of the building will be carried out and all live termites found on the existing building will be

Sometimes it is necessary for a carpenter to assist in removing timber and other materials so as to gain access to infested areas. This of course will only be done with the consent of the customer.

Why Rentokil

Rentokil are acknowledged experts in the field of Termite control, and no other company has the experience and craftsmanship to deal with any Termite problem.

However, it is not just about our leading technical skills. We also know how sensitive it is having people working in your home, so we work hard to minimise disruption in your home and keep things tidy. It is part of our service promise to you.

Talk to the experts - if you would like further advice about a Termite problem or to arrange a visit by a Rentokil surveyor, call us on (592) 225-9427.